Like with a perfectly safe genetically modified salmon, Keystone XL, Yucca Mountain and most other inconvenient science, if the government doesn't want to go on record overturning scientists, it just ignores them.

It's a safe move. Scientists rely on politicians for funding, so they are not going to become a voting bloc. Sometimes they aren't ignored, they are just never asked.

A rather flawed food law, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011, is basically a dietary version of No Child Left Behind - a whole lot of costs and accountability and no benefit to the public. Luckily, he didn't authorize the money to implement but many of the provisions are finally going into effect three years later. When brewers make alcohol, they sell (or give) the leftover grain to farmers who feed it to cows. The FDA is not declaring those grains unsafe, they just don't meet the arbitrary, bizarre guidelines for the new, weirder rules - which means instead of being repurposed into feed, as those leftover grains have been for hundreds of years, they are going to have to be dumped into landfills. The costs will be too high to give perfectly safe grain away.

At risk are craft brewers, one of the few American industries that haven't left the US for some Chinese province and are actually growing. Larger brewers could be impacted to the tune of $11 million to start and another $1 million a year in pointless record keeping, all to clamp down on something that can't possibly harm people or animals. Leftover grain from making bourbon is even less dangerous than GMOs.

Image link: Politico. Credit: Getty

The good news is, the President has finally found a way to bring Democrats and Republicans together - against him. Both sides of the aisle have called on the FDA to exempt alcohol manufacturers from unneeded new preventive safety practices and more record keeping.

The ambulance chasing attorneys behind GMO laws are smart enough to immediately exempt alcohol and restaurants because those costs will be seen directly by consumers - and that would doom their chances.

Like many born-in-a-bubble ideas, the FDA hadn't thought any of this through. FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says now that someone has seen the impact of arbitrary rules, they can probably work something out.

But that is going to get an objection from the feed industry - because they are basically about to sell millions more tons of grain to farmers that will no longer get it from brewers for free. They are getting a de facto government mandate and subsidy. Special exemptions for one will mean special exemptions for all and that defeats the purpose of the FSMA.

Food safety rule threatens cows’ ‘happy hour’ By Helena Bottemiller Evich, Politico